Roberson Unstoppable As Texas Volleyball Throttles Texas Tech

Junior hitter Amber RobersonIt was a contest, but it wasn’t contested. It was a competition, but it wasn’t competitive. It was Texas versus Tech, but it wasn’t even close.

The No. 11 Texas Volleyball team destroyed Texas Tech in straight sets Saturday night at Gregory Gym in a match that can only be described as lopsided.

Texas served better, hit better, blocked better, and in every way executed better. They won 25-13, 25-14, and 25-14.

But “Amber” was the name on the crowd’s lips tonight: Amber, Amber, Amber.

Junior outside hitter Amber Roberson notched a career-best 17 kills that seemed to come from any and everywhere: the front row and the back, the outside and the right side. The Red Raiders could do nothing to stop her.

“I definitely had a rhythm going,” Roberson said after the match, “especially from the back row.”

What did ol’ coach think?

“Amber we’ve always known to be a special athlete, but it’s been hard to convince her that she’s really good,” Head Coach Jerritt Elliott said. “Now that she’s played in a National Championship match last year and her confidence has gone up a lot, it’s nice to see us get some big production out of her.”

Big is right. Roberson had 17 kills on 28 attempts with only three errors, meaning every other time she got set the ball, she buried it.

It was also a breakout night for junior setter Michelle Kocher, who filled in for the injured freshman Hannah Allison and had 33 assists.

Since Texas middles Rachael Adams and Jennifer Doris have been red-hot in recent weeks, Kocher said she expected Tech to key in on them. So she concentrated on setting the pin players (read: Juliann Faucette, Sha’Dare McNeal, and, yes, Amber Roberson).

“What I saw open was the pin players and working around the middles because they had been doing such a great job,” Kocher said. “Really, the middles were doing the work opening up for everyone else.”

Well, certainly for Roberson.

There were some other noteworthy numbers from the night, Elliott said. The team’s sideout percentage — its ability to win points that Tech served — was 76 percent. The goal was 67 percent.

The team committed just nine errors in three matches — far down from previous matches — and a telltale sign of a team playing confident and smart.

“We were very efficient on our side,” Elliott said. “I’m very pleased.”

Texas takes on Kansas at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday in Lawrence.

File photo courtesy of UT Athletics


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